Is this a RGB/CMYK difference problem?

Discussion in 'Australia Photography' started by David L. Jones, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. Hi
    Kind of a newbie printing question.

    I just tried to print a large photo at my local digital print store
    (Harvey Norman) which uses a huge Fuji printer connected to those
    usual "print kiosks".
    It looks fantastic on screen here:

    Very bright and a large difference between the red on the tips of the
    flower and the orange on the rest of the flower. At least that's how
    it looks on my new unadjusted ViewSonic LCD and another higher spec
    Dell monitor.

    When I printed it I got this:

    You'll have to forgive the angle of the shot and the exposure etc,
    taken indoors under flouro's at night, but I believe it shows the
    actual difference I'm concerned with accurately.

    As you can see, almost no orange in the flower at all, it's all a
    consistent red colour.
    The image was printed without any adjustment or colour correction,
    just load and print.

    I also got several other shots printed at the same time and they all
    came out with an extra (large) red tinge too. Easy to see given that
    one was a sunset shot and another with outback red dirt, they turned
    out *much* redder than I expected and certainly much greater than on

    I know the basics about RGB / CMYK differences, but I thought that
    CYMK would just be "duller"?

    Given that these print kiosks are designed for the average consumer
    who has no idea about such things, I would have thought the machine
    would be expecting RGB photos and do whatever it needed to do to
    Anyone know what the actual problem might be?

    Someone already mention it might be a gamut problem??

    Perhaps the Fuji machine was just set up incorrectly somehow?

    BTW, I get a correctly rendered colour result on my crappy i250 Canon
    inkjet on normal paper.

    David L. Jones, Aug 10, 2008
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  2. David L. Jones

    Doug Jewell Guest

    My guess is that their kiosks are set to automatically
    provide colour adjustment. Basically, those kiosks punch up
    the saturation to all buggery so that the average punter
    gets nice bright pictures that they like. Unfortunately for
    those of us who like to control how the images come out, ...
    well you get the picture.

    Firstly, which type of kiosk have they got? There are fuji
    kiosks where there are a bunch of kiosks attached to one
    central "Frontier" printer, and then there are others where
    there is just a small printer directly attached (usually
    underneath) the kiosk. If it is the latter, you're basically
    screwed - find another place to get prints. If it is the
    former, then there are 2 ways to go about it.

    Assuming they are running a frontier system, very unlikely
    the printer itself is out of whack, because these things
    pretty much take care of themselves. The machine forces you
    to do daily calibrations, so even if the operator is a
    complete moron who doesn't give a rat's arse about your
    photos, chances are the machine itself will still be
    correctly calibrated. They are pretty hard to get wrong.

    Which leaves the kiosks...

    Most Fuji kiosks at HN/Rabbit etc, are running a program
    called Whitech. This software can be configured one of 3 ways -
    *Full-time automatic correction - most frequent
    configuration - because thats how the punters like their
    prints, but it sucks for those of us who like control
    *No Automatic Correction - rare. It's good for those of us
    who like control, but the average punter thinks their photos
    are drab.
    *Prompt the user - 2nd most common option - it will prompt
    at the last few screens where it asks things like
    matt/gloss, CD, Index etc. This option can be easy to get
    wrong because of the way the question is asked.

    So, chances are either the lab you went to has full-time
    auto correct, or you accidently chose to do
    auto-corrections. What I would suggest you do, is take the
    image back to them, along with the printout from your canon,
    and ask the operator to manually print it from the
    controller computer (The fuji term is "DI"), with no
    automatic adjustments. That should get the right result.
    Doug Jewell, Aug 10, 2008
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  3. David L. Jones

    Doug Jewell Guest

    Oh yeah - should add that the standard Fuji config doesn't
    allow printing from USB drives from the DI, so probably best
    if you take the image in on CD or a memory card.

    It's easy enough to set the DI up to use thumb drives, but
    if they are Fuji maintained (which I imagine most mass
    retailers would be), Fuji kinda get upset at modifications
    to their configuration.
    Doug Jewell, Aug 10, 2008
  4. Thanks heaps for that informative reply Doug.
    The one I used was connected to a huge floor mounted Fuji printer
    behind the counter, so presumably the "Frontier" one you mention. It
    was maybe two meters long and had a huge access door in the front
    where I saw the operator change presumably a massive print cartridge.

    It did ask me if I wanted "automatic correction" near the end of the
    process. It didn't explain what this was and I had the photo already
    sized and colour adjusted just the way I wanted it so answered NO (I

    I'll have to take my own "control" print in next time to make sure I
    get them to do it right.

    David L. Jones, Aug 10, 2008
  5. David L. Jones

    Doug Jewell Guest

    Yeah, a frontier. What you saw the operator change was
    actually the paper. They use the same technology that your
    photos have been printed on for years, except instead of
    shining light through a negative, lasers paint the image on
    the light sensitive paper.
    If you answered no at that last screen, then in theory it
    shouldn't have done colour adjustments, but judging by the
    sample you have provided, it has anyway. Sounds like they
    have their DI set to do automatic adjustments. I'd still
    suggest getting them to print it direct from the DI.
    Hopefully the operator knows A) how to do it direct from the
    DI, and B) how to tell the DI not to do adjustments.
    These Fuji machines can be a pain to set up to print
    correct, because the standard setup assumes that people want
    punchy contrasty output. Hate to say it, but a typical
    department store may not have staff with the know-how to
    change them to print correctly (but there are exceptions).
    Try talking to them, and if they seem like they know what to
    do straight away then great. If they uhm and ahh, then maybe
    you need to look at a different lab. I have no doubt that a
    frontier can print your image correctly, it's all the Fuji
    software in between that assumes you are a snapshooter that
    is the problem.
    Doug Jewell, Aug 10, 2008
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